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Full text of "Alaskan glacier studies of the National Geographic Society in the Yakutat Bay, Prince William Sound and lower Copper River regions"

MALASPINA GLACIER                                       51
investigated as far as possible in 1910 and a prospector, Mr. Joseph Pelagrini of Yakutat, who had recently been to the west edge of Malaspina Glacier, informed the junior author that a small cove does exist in the ice front near the Robinson Hills but that it ia much smaller and shallower than has been commonly reported; that it is not on the site of the old Ice Bay but west of Guyot Glacier; and that it was not there on an earlier occasion when he visited this coast. He thought it had been formed by the floating out of an ice block.
In May, 1911, Mr. C. G. QuilL'an, commanding the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey steamer Me Arthur went within a mile of the western edge of the Malaspina Glacier. He examined the new Icy Bay at its western margin.1 It is in such a position as to indicate that the Guyot lobe of Malaspina Glacier has receded several miles. The latest Coast Survey map 2 indicates that this recession of Guyot Glacier is about 9 miles, but Captain Quillian's estimate of the distance is only 2& to 8$ miles. The discharging face of the glacier within the bay was 200 to 250 feet high in 1911. The recession which formed this bay surely took place later than October 4, 1904, when the junior author saw Icy Cape from a steamer close inshore, and before 1909.
Agassiz Glacier and its tributary, the libbey Glacier, are normally somewhat crevassed in their mountain valleys, Libbey less than Agassiz, but their outer portions and extension into the piedmont Malaspina plateau were stagnant and more or less covered with ablation moraine when seen by Bryant in 1897 (PI. XH, B), and by Russell in 1891. In view of this inactivity the advance of the border of Agassiz lobe on the edge of Chaix Hills in 1886 is worthy of notice. Schwatka states8 that "at one point of the ice foot the glacier had shoved down into the timber, crushing into pulp and splinters huge trees five and six feet in diameter, as a child would sweep together his pile ofjack-straws with his hand." Seton Karr4 locates this point of advance on February 23 and 24, 1886, on an "island" south of the end of Chaix Hills, one of their camp sites, "This island was bordered on one side by the glacier, which was gradually advancing over it, crushing up the tall pines, rending them into matchwood, and heaping one over the other—a scene of gradual destruction by a resistless force. The onset of the glacier was overriding and burying the patch of wood." . . . "Close by, over the river and looming through the smoke, hung frowning cliffs of ice, the flank of the glacier-face which was burying our island; while, as if to add an additional horror to the scene, a tree crashed down at that moment, overborne by the weight of the advancing glacier." It is not explicitly stated by Schwatka and Seton Karr but it seems clear that this was an advance of Agassiz rather than Tyndall Glacier because of the ease with which the latter was traversed by the party during the next few days.
Topham, however, describes the continuation of this advance specifically in connection with his journey up the east side of Chaix Hills on the border of Agassiz Lake, in 1888.5 This advance seems to have continued for at least two years, although it must have been nearly over in 1888 when they were able to travel along the edge of the ice. He
i Personal communication.
* Chart 8002, March, 1912.
i Century, Vol. XII, 1891, p. 869. ' Op. cit, pp, 91, 96.
• Topham, W. H., Proc. Roy. Geog. Soc., Vol. XI, 1889, p. 428.